Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers – Lubbock
Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers is a network of puppy raising clubs throughout the state of Texas committed to training and socializing specially bred pups from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Currently, Lone Star Guide Dog Raisers is raising more than 100 guide dog candidates in 13 established clubs. The state's newest puppy raising chapter is the Lubbock club, which is a registered student organization at Texas Tech comprised entirely of graduate and undergraduate students.
Each year, Guide Dogs for the Blind, a nonprofit, charitable organization based in San Rafael, California, provides 350 highly trained guide dogs to the visually impaired at no cost. A guide dog begins its training at 8 weeks old in the home of a qualified volunteer puppy raiser. During this time, a puppy raiser is responsible for training his or her puppy in basic commands and good house behaviors and must socialize it to the world. The future guide dog will continue grow and learn under the care of a puppy raiser until it is about 15 months old. It will return to Guide Dogs for the Blind to undergo an intensive training process and will then start the process of being matched up with a blind person.
Photos courtesy of Kaitlyn Beckert.